If you have any dog lovers in your life, then you know that the way to their hearts is through their four-legged besties! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite dog-related gifts and gift ideas so that shopping for the dog-lover in your life is easy! As always, please support local as much as possible! There are many fantastic dog-loving businesses in your local area!
Obviously, training would be first on the list! Beginning training early can set a new-to-the-family dog up for success, but it can also help dogs who have been in the family for a while! Five Freckle K9 has a few options for training gifts!
For training gear, we love this treat pouch. Dogs have just a few seconds to pair an action with a reward, so having treats at the ready, especially in the beginning of your training journey, is imperative to starting out on the right foot! This treat pouch helps you achieve that without getting your pants pockets all crumbly, and it has a few extra pockets for poop bags and any other small items you need to carry.
We also love Mountain Dog Products leashes and use them every day. Their products are made from recycled mountain climbing rope, so you know they’re strong, and they come with a lifetime warranty!
Our Puppy Packs are an excellent gift for someone who is bringing home a new family member for Christmas! They include many valuable items to jump start your training journey, from the Mountain Dog Leash, a Kong toy and recipe card, training pamphlets, low-calorie training treats, to a 30-minute obedience lesson!
If a Puppy Pack isn’t quite what you’re looking for, Five Freckle K9 also offers gift cards for any of our services. Love your college student’s dog, but wish they behaved better at family gatherings? Give them (and everyone else in the family!) the gift of an obedience lesson!
Health & Safety
Most people don’t think of vet visits as gift material, but most pet owners would really appreciate even a slightly smaller bill after getting that health checkup! Putting a credit on your loved-one’s veterinary account is an excellent and often over-looked way to show someone you care! You can also purchase a few months of flea, tick, and heartworm preventative as a really thoughtful stocking stuffer!
Another great health-related dog gift is a canine First aid kit! Try as we might, we can’t always see health emergencies coming. Having a well-stocked pet first aid kit is a great way to keep your pet stabilized until you can get to your vet. You can even ask your vet their opinion on what you should have in stock in your kit.
Hikers, backpackers, hunters, or anyone who spends time in the woods with their dogs might appreciate this Airlift Emergency Dog Carrier by Fido Pro. If you’re miles from a vet’s office and something happens to your dog, this unique gift can make getting them back to safety much easier.
Enrichment & Entertainment
Our dogs need more than an occasional walk or game of fetch to keep them happy and healthy. They need mental enrichment as well! We have three go-to enrichment items at our house: the Kong, the Snuffle Mat, and the Nylabone. All three of these items were developed to combat boredom, help with separation anxiety, and engage our dogs’ brains.
Another excellent enrichment gift is to pre-pay for a day, week, or month of Doggy Daycare. Now, not all dogs are daycare candidates, but if the dog in your life is very social and needs a little more activity, paying for a select amount of time at a Doggy Daycare would be a much appreciated gift!
Treats and Food
Of course treats rank very high on most dogs’ “gift list.” There are many great products on the market and you really have to find the treats that your dog values the most. We divide our treat-giving into three categories: training treats, high value training treats, and special treats.
Training treats are usually low-calorie bites that they can get more of in one sitting. The Five Freckle Pack loves Pet Botanics, but there are many other great brands at your local pet store. These are good for regular training sessions and learning new skills.
High value training treats are for situations that require a bit more focus and work. For example, Kona is not a fan of the kids on bikes in our neighborhood. When they ride by, the regular training treats aren’t valuable enough for her to work through that exciting distraction. So we increase the value of the treats so that she is more focused on me and learning to work through the moment. In our house, the high value treats are Nudges Grillers. June and Kona would learn to fly for these steak bites!
When it comes to home items, two things stand out: where your dog sleeps and organizing their stuff. In our opinion, the more luxurious their bed, the more they want to be in it! (Unless you have a thick-haired breed that prefers cool floors). We love this orthopedic bed by FurHaven or this crazy cute bean bag bed!
In addition to cozy beds, crates can be an awesome gift for a new dog owner. Crates serve many excellent purposes from instituting boundaries, creating safe spaces, and encouraging potty training! Your basic wire crate is an excellent place to start, especially for puppies or dogs that enjoy chewing. If you prefer something a little more portable, the Five Freckle Pack uses these collapsible fabric crates when we’re on the road. Or if you’re looking for something a little more decorative, “furniture crates” like this one serve as both crates and end tables!
For storage options, we love anything that prevents clutter! This food and water stand with built in storage for their dry food keeps everything in one place instead of taking up room in your kitchen or laundry rooms.
We also love preventing clutter with leash hooks! There are many great options out there, but a great multifunctional option is this wall mounted system with baskets as well as hooks. Or if you’re the DIY type, you can make your own with these adorable puppy tail hooks!
Traveling with our pets is an awesome privilege and a great way to build a relationship, but it can take some serious gear! Kurgo has an excellent line of dog travel gear and nearly everything on our travel list is made by them! This car hammock is an excellent way to keep your seats clean and keep them contained while you’re driving. Their collapsible water bowl packs away easily, takes up little room, and is still rugged enough to last as many trips as you can throw at. And finally, their kibble carrier makes packing your dog’s food a breeze!
Sports & Activities
If your gift recipient is interested in sports, consider gifting them with a sports class in agility, dock diving, nose work or any other exciting dog sport! There are introductory group classes throughout Alabama, some even right here in Montgomery! Check with the local trainers in your area to see if they offer any classes!
And for those adventurous types who love a challenge, I encourage you to check out The Canine Biathlon! It’s a 5k Obstacle Course that you can run with your dog! An excellent relationship builder, this amazing event is guaranteed to bring dogs and their humans closer and is SO MUCH FUN! A paid entry fee would make an amazing gift for the dog people who like tackling challenges!
Our final category is for the readers! If your dog lover is also a book lover, or just really likes learning about dogs and how they work, we can personally recommend just about any book in Patricia McConnell’s library. McConnell is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) Emeritus and has written numerous books on dog behavior, both from a behavioral studies perspective and a training perspective. She also just really loves dogs too! Our personal favorites are The Other End of the Leash and Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog Into Your Home.
For fiction lovers, or for people who could just listen to stories about dogs all day, James Herriot’s collection of Dog Stories is a must-read. James Herriot is the author of All Creatures Great and Small, a memoir of his time as a farm veterinarian in rural England. We recommend that book as well, but Dog Stories gets to the heart of why humans have such an amazing love for these special companions.